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How To Survive Your First Social

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All those weeks of constant cleaning, lack of sleep, and physical activity actually paid off. You are now one of the guys. You can actually speak your mind and have normal conversations with the guys who strictly opened their mouths in your general direction to bark out orders for the past ten weeks. You feel like you’ve contracted some variation of Stockholm Syndrome, but that doesn’t matter right now — it’s all going to pay off once you get to rage with one of the hottest sororities on campus with all of your pledge brothers.

Your first social as a newly initiated brother (or NIB) should be one of the best parties you will ever attend, but it can also be one of the worst. Here are some tips to help stop you from becoming a forever NIB in the eyes of your newfound fraternity brothers.

1. Hey Tough Guy: You Can’t Handle Your Booze

Just because you’re a brother doesn’t mean you can drink like one. It takes months of constant liver and kidney abuse to be able to master the art of drinking, and you are nowhere near that level.

Think about this rationally: you are (probably) a first semester freshman who has just been through ten weeks of sober pledging (except for a few binge drinking occasions). That means your most recent experience when it comes to drinking is your senior year of high school. You remember senior year, don’t you? When you and your boys thought you could crush a whole thirty-rack and a handle of your Dad’s cheap gin but none of you could make it past 8 beers and a few pulls? Now you are watching these fraternity animals blasting beer bongs of grain alcohol/fruit punch/lighter fluid without even flinching.

I get it, you want to catch up for lost time and enjoy yourself with your new brothers. Trust me when I tell you, though, that they are going to push you to drink beyond what you thought was possible. Just remember while it’s all going down that you aren’t as seasoned as these alcoholic veterans; you’re a greenhorn, and greenhorns take time to grow. Be sure to eat a loaf of bread before you go out that night and scope out the most comfortable spot to pass out before the party starts. Your brain will be on autopilot when you black out later that night, and when your body’s had enough, it will instinctually return you to the spot on the floor you have chosen like you’re a salmon returning home to spawn. Nature is beautiful.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk To Brothers

This may sound strange, but hear me out. After pledging is finished and you’ve been properly initiated, there is a period of time when you need to adjust in order to befriend the brothers that made you do unspeakable things throughout the majority of the semester. Sure, you and your pledge brothers are best friends, but now it’s time to make the jump to being friends with the older brothers.

There’s no getting over the fact that these were the guys that screamed at you from sun-up to sundown and who made you go on McDonald’s runs in the early hours of the morning the night before your final exam. You told yourself then that you would never forgive them, but now things have changed. You want to be friends with these guys, but you still feel like they could lash out at you at any moment. It must be what Vietnam veterans feel like when they visit Vietnam years later. It is a rare form of PTSD that you must overcome. These guys probably don’t remember your real name, but that doesn’t matter. Just be the guy they know you are and show them why they made the right choice initiating you. Maybe be a brother’s wingman for the night or help out an older brother who’s passed out in the corner. Maybe even play beer pong or flip cup against the older brothers in some sort of NIBs vs. Older Bros type situation. Remember: you’re a brother now, so enjoy your privileges and don’t be afraid to talk shit to the older guys.

3. If You Get Fucked With, Don’t Take It Personally

As you are transitioning into this new lifestyle and social circle, the brothers are also adjusting to your stupid NIB face. What was once a free Uber driver and maid is now an active brother with the same rights and liberties as everyone else, and the brothers inherently don’t like that fact. Some brothers understand this transition immediately and treat you with respect and praise you for your hard work. Other brothers will constantly yell and nag you about what they had to go through as a pledge and how you had it “so much easier” than them.

Then there are those brothers, the ones who will constantly bring up embarrassing things you did when you were pledging. These are the brothers that bring up certain things you did not only in front of other brothers, but in front of girls at parties, on the walk to class, to your friends in other fraternities, and so on. Just know that although douchey, these types of brothers don’t mean to offend you when they do this. They just find your embarrassing moments so amusing that they can’t stop bringing it up. It’s like you are Kim Kardashian and they are the rest of the world. No matter how much time passes, they will always bring up how you got plowed by Ray J on camera. This is the first and only time I will ever say this: you can learn from Kim K. Just take it in stride and try to make light of the situation. Eventually you’ll hear the embarrassing stories about yourself and be able to laugh with everyone else instead of cringing uncontrollably.

Being a NIB is kind of like being in purgatory: you know that it’s better than the hell you went through, but you have to put in a little more work to reach eternal bliss. Just know that your brothers are there for you and you can finally let your guard down around them now. When the next round of pledges comes to town, that’s when the game changes. But until then, enjoy your first social and don’t be the kid that some poor brother has to take care of at the end of the night, you fucking NIB.

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